"Under trees, the urban dweller might restore his troubled soul and find the blessing of a creative pause" - Walter Gropius, architect
The increasing pace of life is something we can't escape, as every year passes more quickly than the one before it. We become especially aware of this at the
beginning of a new year, where we're standing back at the same place - looking back, making resolutions anew - and thinking how recently it feels like we were
at this same place.
We hope that you took the opportunity over the holidays to take a pause. If you didn't, we would
recommend that you stand at your window and do so - look upon your sleepy January yard and
reimagine it full of colour and life. January is a good month to exercise the imagination, and
imagination happens best when we stop and breathe.
Another great catalyst for the imagination is by taking the opportunity to read, and January is the time
of year where we have most opportunity to pick up a book. If you don't already have your reading list
laid out, let us make a couple of recommendations:
The Man Who Made Things out of Trees in an exploration of trees and wood by British author Robert Penn. As part of his story,
Penn cuts down and Ash tree and remakes it into as many different useful products as he can - he comes up with 44.
Along the way he provides a fascinating history of the various ways human history has been shaped by our relationship with trees.
The Hidden Life of Trees by German scientist, forester and tree-lover Peter Wohlleben is another fascinating deep dive into in of our
favourite specimens: trees.
This best-seller is rich with surprising facts and details the complex interconnectedness of trees to one another and their environments
which was previously not understood.
PLANT LOVE by Alys Fowler is a relatively new book on caring for houseplants, which is something we turn more attention towards at
this time of year. From Araceae to Zamioculcas zamiifolia ("ZZ Plant"), this book is rich with useful information and photographic
inspiration to help you tend to your indoor jungle.
Harrowsmith Almanac is released this time of year and always chock full of useful information for the gardener.
Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author and broadcaster. You can sign up for his free monthly newsletter and find his weekly podcast & blog at www.markcullen.com. Watch Mark on CTV Canada AM every Thursday at 8:45 am (EST). Mark's latest book The Canadian Garden Primer, An Organic Approach (5010-205), is available at Home Hardware.